Construction Warranty Types: What Are Contractors Responsible for — and for How Long

There are two categories of construction warranties – implied warranties, which is the bare minimum that any newly built structure should exhibit, and explicit construction warranties that are clearly written and agreed upon by both parties.

An implied warranty covers the quality of workmanship and habitability. This warranty requires that the structure be free of major defects.

The habitability implied warranty requires that the structure should be suitable for living in, working in, or for whatever purpose the building was built for.

Implied warranties are typically a one-year correction period.

Explicit Construction Warranties

The first type of explicit warranty is a materials and/or equipment warranty. This contract would state that the structure will be built with a certain grade or quality of materials, will be constructed properly, and the construction will be executed according to the design intent of the project.

A second explicit warranty is termed a call-back warranty, where the property owner has one-year to contact the contractor for any part of the project that doesn’t perform correctly. 

What Are Contractors Responsible For?

The following 2 explicit warranties are legal documents between both parties that are upheld in court. How long the following warranties last will be explicitly stated in the contract.

Design-build warranty 

Ensures that the architectural or engineering and design of a structure will meet the standard of care. It is intended to hold those responsible for the design and performance of a structure to a certain level of professionalism.

Vendor warranty

A vendor warranty is issued by the construction materials manufacturer or distributor and is very limited in coverage and scope. For example, the home appliances, the building’s hot water and HVAC systems, and the roofing contractor are separate vendor warranties.

How to Vet a New Contractor

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